De Sole v. Knoedler Gallery

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Practice

New York Law Journal

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Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman

The De Soles's fraud action against the Knoedler Gallery arose from their purchase of a purportedly forged painting. After gallery employee Andrade was named as defendant in their amended complaint the De Soles provided him with documents produced by other defendants. They told Andrade that apart from documents originating with other defendants or third parties, they had no documents concerning him. The court denied Andrade's motion seeking an order compelling the De Soles to identify which specific documents were responsive to his prior document requests. Andrade made no claim that it was easier for the De Soles, or their counsel, to accomplish the task than it was for him and his counsel. The court found the purposes of Andrade's request was not to obtain documents, but rather to obtain information facilitating the use and understanding of documents previously provided to him. Finding no need to address whether Andrade improperly sought to obtain the work product of the De Soles' counsel, the court—distinguishing S.E.C. v. Collins & Aikman—ruled that because the burden of review was equal, an order compelling the De Soles to analyze the documents for Andrade would be an undue burden.

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